Characterization of lameness in a research herd and among private herds of meat goats in the southeastern United States

Ahmad Alghamdi, Tennessee State University


A one-year study was conducted to assess types and rates of lesions associated with lameness and the effect of lameness on doe reproduction. Boer (n = 77), Kiko (n = 57), Myotonic (n = 20), Spanish (n = 64), and Savanna (n = 17) pure and crossbred meat does were used. A total of 235 does historical records for four years were used to measure herd reproductive rate and lameness season rates. The herd was semi-intensively managed on humid subtropical environments. A producer survey was conducted. Mature (79%) does had higher lameness rate than young (45%) does. Spanish does had lower rate of lameness (P < 0.05) than Savanna and Boer for the one-year evaluation. The occurrence rates of lesions for the lame does were 53% foot rot, 33% foot scald, 25% white line disease, and 25% overgrowth. White hooves had higher incidences of S, OG and WLD than black hooves; however, for foot rot black hooves had higher incidence than white hooves. Black hooves had higher (P < 0.05) locomotion score (severity of lameness) than white hooves. The response of does to treatment increased (P < 0.05) as locomotion decreased. Hind hooves had higher (P < 0.05) incidence of lameness than the front hooves. Lameness reduced (P < 0.05) litter size at birth and weaning. Based on 183 producer responses to a lameness survey the incidence of lesions were overgrowth (50.3%), scald (18.7%), foot rot (14.2%), white line disease (7.6%), unknown cause (4.2%), toe abscess (2.8%), toe granuloma (0.9%), and other causes (1%). The relative application rates of management practices against lameness included 85% hoof trimming, 32% injectable antibiotics, and 40% topical hoof application, 17% footbath, 1% footpads, and 14% used other methods. The frequency of hoof trimming in producer herds ranged from 9.8 % occurring once a year to 65% for multiple (2 to 12) scheduled trimmings per year; 6.6 % of producers only trimming goats when lame. Lameness is a problem in goat herds of the southeastern U.S. which is associated with various lesion types and impacts productivity. Preventive methods for lameness required further investigations in goats.

Subject Area

American studies|Animal sciences|Animal Diseases|Veterinary services

Recommended Citation

Ahmad Alghamdi, "Characterization of lameness in a research herd and among private herds of meat goats in the southeastern United States" (2015). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10003162.